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Mngqithi: New forwards will improve goal scoring rate at Sundowns

Kermit Erasmus celebrates his goal with teammates

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has admitted that Downs have struggled to hit the back of the net with frequency in recent seasons but believes the arrivals of a host of new forwards will see that change.

On Saturday both Peter Shalulile and Kermit Erasmus got their names on the score sheet as Downs picked an impressive opening day 3-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs.

In what was their league debut, the pair of forwards impressed and could of added more to their tally in the encounter.

With Mauricio Affonso and Gaston Sirino now handed some support with the new arrivals, Mngqithi believes that the scoring rate will improve.

“We have not been able to score enough goals,” said Mngqithi told the media.

“We’ve been creating a lot of opportunities, we’ve been working very hard to improve those statistics, but we’ve not been able to come up with goals. We were just unfortunate because our defensive record is normally good.

“But with Kermit, [Gift] Motupa, Affonso, Gaston, and Shalulile, we should hope for a little bit better in terms of the numbers that we can collect from them.”

“It is encouraging to see them playing together for the first time, but I believe there is still a lot of room for improvement. The intensity was not at the level that we wanted, and Kermit also faded off a little bit in the second half just before he scored,” Mngqithi said.

Victory over Chiefs came on the background of some sharp criticism after Sundowns had been eliminated from the MTN8 after losing 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic the previous weekend.

Critics immediately began questioning co-coaches Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena and well as senior coach Steve Komphela’s pedigree to fill in former coach Pitso Mosimane’s shoes.

“We must always expect something negative in football,” said Mngqithi.

“I was so negative myself because I wanted to win that match. When I didn’t win, I was also negative, so whoever was doing the same towards the outcome, I don’t blame him. It is not a good thing to lose in a cup match.”

Sundowns now prepare to host Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in their next league match on Wednesday.